A Gentle Reminder: Hot Times In The Old Town

Today is supposed to be the hottest one so far this year. The thermometers should hit 101 degrees around 3, but it’s gonna feel like 108. The good news is that the weather guessers are promising a cold front is on its way. Did you get start putting your sundresses in rest mode and reawake those cashmere sweaters?

Oops! The guessers’ understanding of “cold front” is different from normal folks. Their weather maps are transitioning from Dragon’s Breath red to a Carolina Reaper red.

Now that’s a real cold front (File photo)

Even the thought of heading to the pool and slathering on sunscreen seems like a prison sentence. Others have scattered to such places as the Hamptons, Colorado and the West Coast. For the rest of those left behind, it’s chilling under misters on patios with icy drinks or sidling up next the air-conditioning vent.

However, for kids, the elderly and pets, the heat can be dangerous. Consider how

  • Vehicles can become ovens within minutes.
  • Dehydration drains strength.
  • In an attempt to save money, some cut off on electricity resulting in suffocating conditions.
  • Normal friendly playground playsets can sizzle burning munchkins.
  • Hot pavements may not bother stilettos and sneakers, but they can hurt feet and paws.

Realize that the most vulnerable in the community are very susceptible to the raging temperatures.

JUST IN: Late Afternoon Winds, Rain And All That Kind Of Stuff Hit North Texas

For all those who have fled North Texas and think those left behind are sitting by the pool and ho-humming, rethink. Late this afternoon the area got hit slam-bammed with wind, rain and typical Mother Nature temper tantrum weather.

Tree downed

Of course, you’re saying, “Whatever,” as you slather on some more sunscreen and order another umbrella drink. But you might want to check with your neighbors that your estate wasn’t crunched and you now have an unexpected skylight.

Don’t you just love the ever-changing weather of your hood?

BEWARE: Mother Nature Has Cooked Up A Weekend Of Weathery Upsy and Downsies

That Mama Nature is a tricky old gal. She had the weather guessers convinced that she would just snow flurry around this afternoon. And there were all types of impressive maps to back her claim. But then the white stuff started falling. Just one flake made people smile. Then a dozen made folks think how pretty the flurry is. But then the flurry became an afternoon drive-home fury of flakes that as soon as they hit the ground, they froze together making Central Expressway a glorified parking lot and teeny-weeny hills become icy roller coasters.

Traffic in the snow (File photos)

Now, what’s in the future? Take a deep breath and read this before venturing out Saturday morning. The stuff that’s wet and on the ground this evening is going to freeze thanks to temperatures in the 20s. Roads that were slippery today are going to be treacherous Saturday until afternoon when the temps get just barely above freezing.

Are you relieved? Don’t be. Sorry to report that Saturday night the stuff that started melting Saturday afternoon will refreeze Saturday night thanks to returning temperatures in the 20s. Rethink Sunday brunches and church services.

Dallas Arboretum squirrels (File photo)

But you deserve some good news and here goes. Sunday afternoon the temperatures will start rising above freezing and will stay there the rest of the week.

So, tell those sandals and shorts to take a break. Come Tuesday they’ll be needed for walking the dogs, sipping on patios, comparing notes with the penguins at the Dallas Zoo and checking out the blossoms at the Arboretum.

In the meantime, rethink that subscribing to Netflix and reading that book that has been gathering dusty. And what about that needlepoint that you’ve been meaning to finish up?

Mother Nature’s Going To Give North Texas A Real Cold Shoulder For A Couple Of Days

If you think it’s cold now, brace yourself. It’s downhill from here until Sunday. Head to the grocery now to get those fixings for soups, casseroles and brownies.

You’ve already gone over your chilly weather checklist of taking care of the “4 Ps” (people, pets, plants and pipes). The duvet is on the bed. The flannel jammies are ready for duty. Excellent

But before you totally close down the must-do freeze list, think wet. For instance, if you don’t want to be the neighborhood slip-and-slide pain, turn off your sprinkler system.

Dripping faucet

And, if you’re one of those folks who lets faucets drip, why not put a bucket or major league bowl under the faucet and use the water for your plants and pets? No sense in wasting that water.

If you have munchkins, be prepared for some unhappy campers. It appears Friday will not be a snow day. Rather it will be a dusting of flakes and schools don’t close down for that. Sorry.

The Winter Of 2016-2017 Continues To Have Its Ups And Downs

For all those that scurried to the Rockies and other high points in search of cooler temp, snow and the holidays, good move. Those photos of you on the slopes and partying with your pals around the fireplace have been memory keepers.

2016 fall/winter leaves

As for those seeking the perfect tan on sand-covered beaches, nice but wasn’t it sorta waste of American Express points?

With North Texas flirting with record-breaking temperatures, knee-high boots and swell sweaters have battle sandals and tantalizing tank tops thanks to 70- and 80-degree weather.

Instead of shimmering, ice covered terrain, the Christmas/Hanukkah week has been golden thanks to leaves now covering neighborhood as if it were Halloween.

But as local out-of-towners head back to North Texas, be forewarned. Winter ain’t over. So don’t put those warmies back into moth ball status. Stay braced and keep the Irish coffee prepared for appears to be on board for Wednesday.

Weather Ups And Downs In The Days Ahead

If your thrills come from roller coasters, then hold on. Last week’s dip in temperatures was just a hint of what’s ahead the next few days.

Thank heaven you’ve already pulled out that duvet and dual-temperature heated mattress cover. The weather guessers are all claiming that Friday and Saturday are gonna have shorts returning thanks to 70-degree temps. But Saturday night the bottom is going to fall out with temperatures dropping 40 50 degrees. Not to worry. Just cozy up with the love of your life, whether they be two- or four-legged types.

Frosty weather

The freezing chills are predicted to continue until at least Monday mid-morning. Some weather experts are even suggesting some flurries but nothing scary.  

While you know the drill, add this one to the list. Turn off your sprinkler systems unless you want to create a winter wonderland and a slip-and-slide for your sidewalk and street.

Brace Yourself For A Thrill Chill To Come

From those wonderful peeps, who predict all types of weather wonderment, comes word that North Texas is bracing for a Polar Plunge.

So, what does that mean? Hello? Polar plunge sounds like something that the Dallas Zoo would be holding for the polar bears.  But not!

The weather wizards are claiming that the local area codes will be hit starting late Wednesday with a frigid situation that hasn’t been seen in two years.

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

Cold days of 2015 (File photo)

Think of it as the cold shoulder that you gave that geek, who crossed the line.

Okay, let’s be totally honest. It ain’t in all probability gonna snow or ice over, but it is gonna be cold and drizzle thanks to the dropping temps and the wind chill.

Regardless, you know the drill better than anyone.

Keep the pets in, the plants protected, the pipes covered and the cocoa simmering.

BTW, word has it on the boulevard that folks are hitting the grocery stores and are brewing up all types of soups, pastas and pastries. Don’t you just love comfort food?

Seriously, please check on your senior-type friends/family. They may brush you off and claim that they have all things under control. Don’t believe them. They’re adorable, but they fib. Why not invite them over to spend the night or provide them with that duvet that you have hidden away in your closet?

Scary Weather Due Tonight

The weather guessers aren’t finished rolling up their sleeves and furrowing their brows. Sure, the wind has picked up and the sky is still pretty blue with fluffy clouds floating above. But an extremely line of storms is predicted to hit around 6 p.m.

There’s talk of hail, booming thunderstorms, straight-line winds and possible tornadoes. It sure does sound like an end-of-the-world situation. The locust and plague must be on standby.

And don’t go thinking, “Ah, come on. That kind of weather hits other neighborhoods, not mine.” Rethink that thought. Was it just two years ago in May that the trees along Turtle Creek were felled by straight line winds?

May 8 storm damage (File photo)

May 8 storm damage (File photo)

So, play it safe.

  • Think where you would head if all things start flying every which way.
  • Why not park your cars in the garage or let them spend the night at a public, covered garage like a shopping center?
  • Check out some software programs that will alert you if you’re in the path of danger.
  • Charge your cellphones, tablets, etc. Wouldn’t want to run out of juice when it’s needed.
  • Make sure that your computer(s) have surge protectors in place.
  • If you don’t have to go out tonight, why not stay in and just chill?

Stay safe and don’t worry about those locust and the plague. We were just kidding.

Knock, Knock, A Cold Front Awaits You This Morning

Good morning!  That stuff outside your front door is something called a “cold front.” Ah, come on! You remember those things! They’re accompanied by cooler temps and something called “rain.” You may be tempted to pull out those luscious cashmere sweaters and cozy coats, but hold off.  Breezy blouses and sandal season hasn’t ended quite yet.

This change in weather conditions is free and requires no thank notes. But you might want to think about replacing those old cold-weather goodies with new ones. Not only will it give you an excuse to shop, but you’ll have the opportunity to pass those “experienced” clothes along to those in need at Goodwill, The Salvation Army and/or those in need.

By the way, don’t forget those galoshes and bumbershoots when you head off today for you and the munchkins.

Water, Water Everywhere And All Hands On Deck This Week

Remember that that ark you were building last month? Sure, you do. You told all the neighbors it was a yacht you were going to enter in the Trinity Cup Race. Yeah, that ark. Hopefully, you haven’t put it in dry dock because you just may need it this week.

The weather guessers are more than hinting that rain is in the game plan this week. And it sounds like it’s gonna be a real drencher with possibly 7 to 10 inches from late Tuesday to early Thursday. Pretty soon Herrera parasol bikinis and Alexis crochet shorts will be replaced with hula skirts.

Since the area is pretty much water-logged, the City of Dallas is activating its Emergency Operation Center (EOC) monitoring starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Even if your abode isn’t threatened by flooding conditions and your water wings are nicely in place, don’t fall for the old, “Ah, it’s just a little water and I can drive through it.” Six inches of water can wipe out your engine.  Remember, if you can’t see the marks on the road, you shouldn’t drive ahead.

Wet streets require special braking (File photo)

Wet streets require special braking (File photo)

In other words, “Turn around, don’t drown.”

Batten Down The Hatches

It sounds like the next few hours and possibly days may be a bit rocky. Back on May 8, 2014, the area got hit hard by storms and winds, So, pull out the bumbershoot, drive carefully, bring the pets in, check on your elderly friends and make sure your batteries are available just in case you lose power.

May 8, 2014 storm damage

May 8, 2014 storm damage

If you’ve got a back-up plan for an outdoor event, you might want to make it frontrow.

Yes, this rainy stuff is getting old, but so was the drought.

Announcement: Monday Closures

According to our buddy Steve McCauley and the KXAS team, tomorrow’s closures are already checking in.

If you’re a boss, cut your staff some slack. If you’re a parent, take a deep breath and realize this is an opportunity to be with your kid-lets and make a lasting impression on both you and them. Use it or lose them.

North Texas 2014 Drought Takes The Day Off

Leaves loving the wet stuff

Leaves loving the wet stuff

It appears that the North Texas drought has taken a break.

Don’t you! Use your brakes carefully and let your foliage lap up the rain.

Wet streets require special braking

Wet streets require special braking

Chainsaws Are In High Demand As Huge Trees Suffered From Thursday’s Weather

Lakeside area around Turtle Creek

Lakeside area around Turtle Creek

In the light of day, Dallas really took a hit yesterday afternoon. Ironically, the Park Cities that are known for the mature trees got walloped. Instead of ducks quacking along Lakeside today, the sound of chainsaws can be heard buzzing.

Lakeside area around Turtle Creek

Lakeside area around Turtle Creek

Be advised that the scene is fascinating, but if you do decide to stroll around, watch out for branches, limbs and very unhappy snakes.

Lakeside area around Turtle Creek

Lakeside area around Turtle Creek

North Texas Prepares For Thursday’s Chill Pill

Mother Nature is a tricky old gal. In the past few days, she led everyone to believe that it was time to free those cut-offs and cotton frocks from their closets with temperatures touching the 70’s.

Don’t you just hate a tease?

Tonight she’s giving North Texas a cold shoulder with the temperatures probably not venturing past the 30’s Thursday.

So, you know the drill all too well. Remember MSC’s cold-weather P’s:

  • Pipes covered.
  • Pets indoors.
  • Plump up the duvets.
  • Plenty of hot chocolate and comfort food.

And if you have a fundraiser on your Thursday agenda, wear a comfy, warm coat with gloves and hat. Don’t bother with the snow boots. It won’t be that bad.

MySweetCharity Elves Test Drive Dallas Streets

If you’ve been watching the TV newscasts, then you’re sure that Dallas is indeed entombed. So, three of the MySweetCharity elves ventured out. One put on skis and headed to the market to pick up fixings for gumbo, brownies (the edible type) and Tabasco.

The second one hitched up the unicorns to their sleigh and took off slowly for the feed store. Seems the dodo birds needed new socks and the miniature whale wanted a muff.

Within an hour, the first two were back with all their list complete.

The third elf decided to scout out the Hilton Anatole to see how dicey the parking lot was. Not! Evidently the hotel staff has gone into hot overdrive by clearing the driveways and parking areas. They’ve even arranged for an area for Uber to park their vehicles. The walkway leading from the valet drop to the hotel is covered and has a bank of heaters.

So, if you’re going to leave home-sweet-home for CCB or for your feed store, here are some tips:

  • Use common sense.
  • The biggest challenge will be getting out of your neighborhood. The main streets are relatively clear, but stay in the center lane.
  • Drive slowly. Duh!
  • Don’t park under a tree if possible. The trees are having a very rough time with the weight of the ice.
  • Have a full tank of gas. You just don’t know if you’ll be stuck in some kind of traffic jam.
  • Put a blanket or two in the car. You probably won’t need it, but it will look so comfy and cozy.
  • Be generous with your valet parker. They’re out in frigid conditions to make sure that you and your car get together safely.
  • Drive slowly. Oh, did we already say that?

If you’re that worried about the conditions, stay put. Your safety is paramount to all of us.

Ice Ain’t Nice

There are those weather experts who are using words like “entombed” to describe the upcoming weather episode for North Texas starting today. Sorta makes you envision Dallas looking like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

No one has to tell you the drill. You had a dress rehearsal last week. But this one is looking like the real thing, with temperatures dropping throughout today and staying at below freezing through the weekend. Word has it that it will be an ice situation with minimal snow. And you just know how treacherous ice can be, whether it’s black ice on streets or causing limbs to crash down on power lines.

Another problem with this one is that so many activities, both indoor and outdoor, are planned in the days ahead. If you’re going to venture out, prepare for a challenging scenario, especially if it involves children or seniors. That may sound dramatic, but the very young and elderly are so susceptible to frigid conditions.

If you’re in charge of an activity, you know that the safety and well-being of the participants and guests are the priority.

Now, bundle up and go get those errands run, so you can settle back with a nice, cup of hot chocolate or a yummy kettle of chili later on.

Mother Nature’s Temper Tantrum Provides A Concert Of Wet Relief

Despite the rumble of thunder and the flash-fright of lightning, an August storm with the accompanying fragrance of humidity is comforting.

Mother Nature's teas

Mother Nature’s tears

In this season of drought, Queenie’s big sister, Mother Nature, is being her dysfunctional self. While her tears are a welcome relief, her grumbling around with fireworks and power outages are so very typical of the family dynamics.

Let the rain fall, the environment slurp up the watery feast and Mother Nature throw her temper tantrum. Tonight the MSC elves will sleep with their heads on their fluffy down pillows with the raindrops providing a concert above. May the rest of the MSC community enjoy sweet dreams and sweeter awakenings.

Get Unplugged To Fight The Heat And Brown Outs

Beads of sweat sweep the area

Beads of sweat sweep the area

Today the odds makers are putting their money on the thermometer’s 105 mark. To say it’s brutal, it is. But these over-100-degree days have been a long time coming this summer. Why, it’s too hot to even work on an outdoor tan. But speaking of lighter shades of brown, the threat of brown outs is rising like the temps. But . . . and it’s a big old but. . . if everyone thinks smart and works together, the rolling outages can be reduced if not prevented.

Here are some suggestions:

  • The Big Turn Off: Turn off any and all appliances and devices that are not an absolute necessity. Like that TV you left on in the other room, the laptop that seems to sleep all the time, etc. Unplug your battery chargers. According to CPS Energy, “These energy vampires can quietly account for up to 10 percent of your monthly energy bill.”  If you have kids, play a game trying to find those items that really, sincerely don’t need to be connected to the outlet. It will not only teach the kids about conserving energy, you just might be amazed what they discover.
  • Change your way of living: Yes, everyone knows to turn the thermostat up a degree. . . well, at least to 78 degrees. It may make it a degree warmer, but that’s a heck of lot better than no A/C at all. While you’re turning up things, what about that refrigerator? Do you really need to have it colder than an igloo? And while you’re adjusting your frig, check the coils. You’d be amazed how much energy those things use. Finally, don’t do your laundry. At least, don’t do it during peak hours (3 to 7 p.m.). Some folks start their washers just before they go to bed. Then first thing in the morning they put their laundry in the dryer. Now, the really smart ones hang the clothes out to dry. May sound terribly old-fashioned, but clothes hung out to dry have a totally different feel and fragrance to them. Oh, you’re shaking your head. Try it. Since Mother Nature is French frying us, why not let her dry the clothes as well.
  • Fan Power: Put those fans to use. We’re talking floor fans, ceiling fans and hand fans.

For those who aren’t in the North Texas fryer, send cool thoughts. They’re muchly needed and appreciated.